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The Suburbanite
  • Family Time: People urged to include pets in disaster planning

  • The Humane Society of the United States urges residents to prepare by taking some simple — but critical — steps to keep their pets safe during severe weather.

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  • The Humane Society of the United States urges residents to prepare by taking some simple — but critical — steps to keep their pets safe during severe weather.
    While the path and impact of the storms are not certain, pet owners should have an emergency plan that includes the safety of their animals.
    “It is crucial that residents remember that if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets,” said Anne Sterling, Midwestern regional director for the HSUS. “We recommend finding a safe place and keeping your pets with you. Pet owners should make sure to have carriers ready for cats and small dogs, and leashes for larger dogs.”
    One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a natural disaster is make sure all pets are clearly identified with a collar and tags. That will ensure that your pet can be returned to you in the event you are separated from each other.
    In the event of a tornado, go with your pets to lowest point in your house, such as a basement. If you do not have a basement, go to a windowless room or get in a bathtub under a mattress. Avoid staying inside a mobile home or vehicle where it is unsafe — instead seek shelter in a building with a basement.
    Dogs who are tethered as a means of confinement or other animals left outside may choke to death on tangled leads or suffer other serious injuries. Pets should be brought inside and kept close in the event of hail or high winds. It’s also important to provide for your pets in the event you lose electricity, making certain they also have adequate food and water. Horses also should have halters with proper identification. There may be times when taking your horses with you is impossible during an emergency. Consider your personal situation in deciding whether your horses would be better off in a barn or loose in a field.